The 2012 Summer Olympics.

I’ve never really watched the Olympics growing up, nor did I pay much attention to them for most of my adult life. I believe that a part of my excuses were based on the fact that I was never a true lover of sports. Naturally this lack of interest in sports also lead me to a lack of interest in the Olympics, but for some reason something has changed in my perspective more recently.

I don’t believe the Olympics are necessary to watch, and I don’t believe it makes you any more patriotic for watching, but I do believe that these Olympians deserve more recognition than some of the athletes (and non-athletes) the average American idolizes. Watching some of these events and how elite the participants are, and knowing that they’re doing it for their love, passion and excellence at the sport is overwhelming. Although there’s a sense of fame attached to qualifying for Olympics, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that most of these athletes are doing it for the potential of being the best in the particular sport.

These athletes have trained for years, and some for the majority of their lives, to be the best at what they do, so competing for the sake of competition seems noble to me. Although I’m not an advocate for sitting on the couch and watching television, I believe an exception can be made once, every four years. Granted, one of the worst part about the Olympics in my opinion would have to be the Olympic sponsor’s commercials. It seems ridiculous to me that so many companies would try so hard to exploit these incredible athletes in ways that would lead to common misconceptions of what athletes “endorse” in order to get to where they are athletically.

One honorable mention that I have to get off my chest; however, would have to be Oscar Pistorius. He didn’t qualify into the finals, but his ability to qualify to compete with some of the best athletes in the 400 meter race is commendable enough. Although controversy surrounds the idea that he is a paraplegic competing against other athletes, if you’re able to qualify within the specifications, I say it’s no big deal.

Lastly, I believe that a lot of people get lost in the idea that they should only cheer for their home country, but I think that it’s important to root for the best athlete.  To me, it seems somewhat sad to see the cameras and media take focus on certain individuals more than others. The simple fact that these people are/were able to make it onto such an elite playing field, I don’t really think there should be room to discriminate or limit coverage on any of the qualifiers.

Anyway, although I still don’t consider myself an avid viewer of the Olympic games (there are still some sports I consider dull/boring), I definitely have a new appreciation for these incredible Olympians. To dedicate yourself to something, to build yourself to become better and stronger than others, and in some cases to be the best at something than anyone in the world – is reason enough to be recognized. These other people, whether it be the morons from the Jersey Shore, sports stars engaged in scandal or any of the musical talent that use voice augmenters to make them sound better – don’t even measure to some of the greatness I’ve seen on the Olympic games. If you haven’t watched it, that’s your prerogative, but I would suggest that you give it a try and watch it sometime. You may find a someone worth admiring in the process.